Halorhodospira halophila

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Halorhodospira halophila


Higher order taxa

Superkingdom: Bacteria;

Phylum: Proteobacteria;

Class: Gammaproteobacteria;

Order: Chromatiales;

Family: Ectothiorhodospiraceae;

Genus: Halorhodospira;

Species: Halorhodospira halophila



Halorhodospira halophila

NCBI: Taxonomy


Halorhodospira halophila S1

Description and significance

Halorhodospira halophila, a member formally of the Ectothiorhodospira genus (but recently reclassified) is an extremely halophilic bacterium that is phylogenetically associated within the gamma subdivision of the pyhlum Proteobacteria. Halorhodospira halophila is a purple bacterium that is also known to be phototrophic and Gram-negative bacterium. This halophilic organism has several functions: production of organic solutes glycine betaine, ectoine, and trehalose to help balance osmotic pressure, as well as the oxidization of sulfide to sulfur, which is then deposited outside of the cell and oxidized further to sulfate. Halorhodospira halophila has one major strain: SL1.

Genome structure

The gene sequence of Halorhodospira halophila S1, the only listed organism of the species has been fully determined. Genome sequencing of Halorhodospira halophila S1 was completed in January 2007 by the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute. The genome is 2,678,452 nucleotides long (1,339,226 base pairs) and is made up of circular DNA. There are 2493 genes, 2407 which are protein coding, as well as 55 structural RNAs. There is no current information on plasmids related to this species.

Cell structure and metabolism

Halorhodospira halophila is known as a "purple sulfur bacterium", whose structure consists of two membranes as well as the presence of flagella. It generates hydrogen gas during photoautotrophic growth as a byproduct of a nitrogenase reaction.

One important part of Halorhodospira halophila and subject to recent research has been the Photoactive Yellow Protein (PYP), a 14kDa cytoplasmic photoreceptor protein.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Application to Biotechnology

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required

Some of the recent research on Halorhodospira halophila includes focusing on it's photobiological ability to produce hydrogen gas and the potential applications of this.

Cloning and Characterization of nif Structural and Regulatory Genes in the Purple Sulfur Bacterium, Halorhodospira halophila

Recent studies of the sequences of the 16sRNA gene have been able to provide details and data into the Ectothiorhodospira genus and the different species within, helping to distinguish Halorhodospira and reassigning it as a separate genus category due to it's extremely halophilic nature.

The phylogenetic relationship among Ectothiorhodospiraceae: a reevaluation of their taxonomy on the basis of 16S rDNA analyses


"HAMAP: Halorhodospira halophila (strain DSM 244 / SL1) (Ectothiorhodospira halophila (strain DSM 244 / SL1)) complete proteome". ExPASy Proteomics Server. Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. 2007.

Edited by student Kent Lee of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano